Causes and consequences of environmental contaminant exposure in seabirds – talk by Alice Carravieri

Alice Carravieri presented her PhD research yesterday at a Roehampton Centre for Ecology (CREEB) seminar.She is currently working at University of Liverpool

She studied feeding in seabirds (including penguins, albatross, petrels – 34 species and over 1500 individuals) who she says are excellent biomarkers of environmental contaminants and persistent organic pollutants. Different species with different feeding strategies showed variation in mercury (Hg) contamination with species feeding only on crustaceans having lower levels than those with diets including fish. Studying blood is more representative of recent dietary intake. Also feathers, plasma studies and carbon stable isotope ratio to analyse feeding habits. They did find in some species that higher Hg affected egg size and hatching success. The contaminants are persistent, highly mobile and can spread to the most remote areas of Earth.

She is also looking environmental contaminants caused by technology eWaste.




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